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Salvador back for battle with Bruins

by Mike G. Morreale /

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador was back on the ice Wednesday for his club's morning skate in preparation for a game Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Salvador sat out practice Tuesday in an attempt to rest for a team that has beaten the Devils six straight times (0-4-2) over the past two seasons, including a 1-0 Bruins win in Boston on April 4.

Salvador, 37, has two assists and a minus-11 rating in 38 games this season.

Ilya Kovalchuk also skated with the team for the second straight day. Kovalchuk was wearing a red jersey, usually assigned to forwards, during practice; however, he'll miss his eighth straight game since injuring his right shoulder during a game March 23 against the Florida Panthers.

Kovalchuk told the media after practice he doesn't expect to be in the lineup for the Devils' next game, Friday against the Ottawa Senators, but is improving.

In addition to snapping its losing streak against the Bruins, the Devils are hoping to end their seven-game winless streak (0-3-4).

"We're not getting rewarded on the scoreboard, but we feel that if we continue to play the way we have been and don't change things that we'll turn things and go on a run," Devils center Ryan Carter told "We played the Bruins a couple of nights ago, and we know we're with them and right there. We just have to find a way to get more goals on the scoreboard and then that confidence will start building."

The Devils enter the game 10th in the Eastern Conference with nine regular-season games left, two points behind the ninth-place Winnipeg Jets and the eighth-place New York Rangers. They certainly would like to close the 2012-13 regular season the same way they finished last season, going 7-1-1 in the last nine games to finish sixth in the Eastern Conference. During that late-season surge, however, a healthy Kovalchuk contributed seven goals and 10 points.

"What we had in the locker room last year was, maybe, a lack of worry where we didn't really worry about other teams or what was going to happen," Carter said. "We were just so focused on playing our own game and executing that that we didn't have to worry about winning or losing because it just came to us; it was a product of how we played and how we worked."

One lineup change will be defenseman Henrik Tallinder entering the lineup in place of second-year blueliner Adam Larsson. Coach Peter DeBoer said Larsson was hit by a shot in practice Tuesday.

Here is how the Devils lineup might look against the Bruins on Wednesday:

Patrik Elias - Travis Zajac - Steve Sullivan

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Andrei Loktionov - David Clarkson

Dainius Zubrus - Adam Henrique - Matt D'Agostini

Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Henrik Tallinder - Marek Zidlicky

Martin Brodeur

Johan Hedberg

Scratched: Krystofer Barch, Jacob Josefson, Tom Kostopoulos, Peter Harrold, Adam Larsson

Injured: Ilya Kovalchuk (shoulder)


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